COMMENTARY | LPGA Tour player Belen Mozo made a younger fan's dream come true on Saturday night, accompanying a Knoxville, Tenn. high-school student to his prom on Saturday night.
The 24-year-old Spaniard, who played collegiate golf at the University of Southern California, was the date for Bearden High School senior Alex Notte. Mozo accepted the invitation Notte extended via a YouTube video he made with the help of his sister.
Notte, who has a neuro-developmental condition, first met Mozo two years ago when attending the Wegmans LPGA Championship, one of their five major tournaments, in Rochester, N.Y. Notte became infatuated with Mozo, a striking woman who has appeared in ESPN The Magazine's 2012 "Body" issue, so much so that he began to take up golf after meeting her. In learning to play the game at Gettysvue Country Club, he had to overcome neurological, vision and hearing challenges.
In January, Notte asked his sister Arielle to help him make a video of him golfing and dancing as a way of asking Mozo to come to his prom. After posting the 46-second video to YouTube, Arielle also posted a link to it on Mozo's Facebook page. To the entire family's delightful surprise, Mozo called to accept the invitation.
"This young woman took time out of her very busy schedule to help Alex have such a wonderful experience," said Alex's mother, Kristine Notte, according to the Knoxville News. "Sometimes, we want our children to be in the community just like a typical child - and Belen has opened that door for us."
Mozo arrived on Saturday to the Notte house and a gathered seeing-off party of 50 people in a teal sequin gown, while Notte donned a tuxedo and boutonniere accessorized with a pair of golf tees. They arrived at the prom in a 1959 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud, provided by a local luxury car service.
Earlier in the day, Mozo conducted an exhibition to benefit Special Olympics at Notte's home course.
While the Spaniard is accustomed to the nerves and pressure of tournament golf, prom was an entirely new experience. Teens don't go to prom in her home country.
"I'm actually very nervous," Mozo said before the prom, according to the Knoxville News report. "I think it's a wonderful thing. I'm going to get to meet Alex's friends and have a really good time."
Ryan Ballengee is a Washington, D.C.-based golf writer. His work has appeared on multiple digital outlets, including NBC Sports and Golf Channel. Follow him on Twitter @RyanBallengee.
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